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World first pancreatic cancer clinical trial starts at Subiaco

St John of God Subiaco Hospital is the first facility in the world to offer patients a new drug to help treat pancreatic cancer as a part of a world first in-human clinical trial.

St John of God Health Care pancreatic cancer trial

5 November 2018 

Oncologist Dr Andrew Dean is leading the CEND-1 trial at St John of God Subiaco Hospital with the first two patients in the world starting treatment on the trial drug.

“We are the first in the world to trial this brand new drug which hijacks a protein that the cancer cells normally use to feed themselves and instead the drug makes the cancer cell feed on chemotherapy instead,” Dr Dean said.

“This drug is being trialled with the current gold standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

“We are the leading the way with this trial, and it continues our strong history of providing innovative care and of being early adopters of new therapies.” 

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia and is the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer type. The risk of a pancreatic cancer increases as you age, with men at slightly higher risk of a diagnosis than women. 

“While this trial is still in the early days, if it is successful it could potentially make a huge difference to survival from metastatic pancreatic cancer and could lead to a whole new strategy to beat this disease,” Dr Dean said. 

“Western Australia is leading the way with a number of new cancer trials currently underway and we have particularly good outcomes for patients with pancreatic, gynaecological and bowel cancers.”

The trial is a significant milestone for St John of God Subiaco Hospital as well, as it is the first-in-human clinical trial to occur at the hospital.

St John of God Health Care pancreatic cancer trial

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Chief Executive Officer Professor Shirley Bowen said this trial placed the hospital at the leading edge of cancer research and treatment.

“We have a dedicated group of oncologists who are committed to providing the most advanced treatments for their patients who we care for in our world-class facility,” Professor Bowen said.

“We have a number of trials on the horizon that our doctors are investigating to see if they can help our patients who are battling cancer diagnoses.

“It is also really exciting for our researchers to be a part of early phase and first-in-human studies of the latest products and drugs that are available to be trialled and we hope to be a part of more research in the future.”